WHEN you are battling against the world's best you take any advantage you can get - that is why Australian BMX coach Luke Madill conducted a two-day camp with some of his riders in Bathurst over the weekend.
Bathurst will host a round of the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in February, the weekend after Shepparton stages the series opener. Given that event will also act as a chance for riders to impress ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, competition is expected to be hot.
So Madill hopes that having his Australian riders familiarise themselves with the Bathurst track will provide them with an edge.
"We are trying to take advantage of it as much as we can because it is the first time in a while we've actually had a home track advantage, we don't have to travel halfway across the world which financially puts a lot of burden on the riders," he said.
"The best will be here, which is the most exciting part. It's definitely great for Australia and it will be a great chance for our riders to see where they are on the map and what they need to improve on.
"It's also great for those guys trying to qualify for the Olympics because those points are hopefully going to come a little bit stronger as well."
In terms of how many BMX riders will represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics in July, nothing is yet confirmed. It currently stands that two females will qualify for selection and one male rider, but Madill hopes to change that.
It will mean good results in Bathurst's World Cup round are crucial if Australia is to have four BMX representatives at the Games.
"The boys are right on that bubble spot, so hopefully some good results here will just push them over that edge and allow two," Madill said.
"The girls are pretty safe there in that second place, obviously anything can change, but I think they are going to have a pretty strong year and I think they should be pretty comfortable keeping those two spots.
"It's the guys we really need to get fired up and get them going for these events."
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The Bathurst BMX track has been revamped ahead of the World Cup and Madill feels the alterations will make for exciting racing.
That is good news not just for the competitors, but spectators as well. The coach hopes to have plenty of supporters to cheer on the Australian riders.
"They did some major changes to the second straight, it's definitely sped the track up a little and it helps the flow of the track, so I think there's only been positive comments from it," he said.
"The speed will increase, so there's probably a bit more of that fear factor coming into it. But I think as far as racing goes, it's going to be a really fast, wide-open event.
"It's a bit different to your typical, standard Super Cross track, so I think it will be a pretty even playing field out there.
"If anyone is interested in BMX, or if they are interest in sport in general, this is like the V8s in Bathurst, this is as big as it can get in BMX terms."